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Tipping point?

Nick Robinson | 02:49 UK time, Friday, 23 May 2008

Be in no doubt. If David Cameron becomes prime minister many will look back at the vote in Crewe and Nantwich as the moment they first believed it was possible.

Edward Timpson and wife Julia with supportersNot only is this the first Tory by-election gain from Labour in 30 years, it is on a swing that matches those secured by Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher before they reached No 10.

It comes less than a year after what was billed as Labour's moment of "renewal" when Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair. It comes just weeks after the prime minister responded to crushing defeats in the local elections by telling voters he felt their hurt before unveiling an unexpected tax cut and his legislative programme for the year ahead.

So, what is left to do now? A reshuffle? It would, most likely, be dismissed as moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. Ditching the captain then? Certainly that is being discussed by many Labour MPs - even some in the cabinet - but it stll looks unlikely - for now. A change of policy? That is where the debate will now focus with one senior minister telling me that it's time tear up what they referred to as "Gordon's five-year tractor plans" and take action now to ease the financial pain many are feeling - if necessary by postponing investment in hospitals and schools to pay for it.

Some in Labour will comfort themselves with the memory that Neil Kinnock was pretty good at winning by-elections but still couldn't win a general election. It is not likely to comfort very many.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Labour have already had their worst moment, and the Conservatives have just had their best moment, so I expect things to swing again. A change of plan and keeping the present cabinet in place is probably a good idea.

    Changes in execution may only have to be modest to bring about the renaissance in policy and presentation I feel the government has been reaching for. It's a weird one but I don't expect the magician to reveal all his tricks. That might ruin the surprise when the white rabbit is pulled out of the hat.

    The Tao warns of the perception of arrogance and Gordon Brown has paid a heavy price for that, but the Tao also suggests that people cannot find it in their hearts to go to war if a king humbly takes on the blame. Thus, in death we may find life, and in life find death.

    All hail the Prime Dudester!

  • Comment number 2.

    David Cameron will need to continue to move the party to a tax cutting, business friendly party to maintain his momentum. Stop being afraid of what the country needs!

  • Comment number 3.

    Even some in the Cabinet?

    Do tell!!

  • Comment number 4.

    And so the revival goes on - and why not too? I wonder how Gordon Brown will try to talk himself out of this one? Should be good for a laugh!

    I think the voters in Crewe and Nantwich are reflecting on the current mood of the country as a whole and are giving a very specific message to Gordon Brown and his Cabinet.

    No doubt the NuLabour Spin Mongers will try to tell us we are wrong and they are right, that they are listening to the message and have 'got it', and this is just a blip and 'mid term blues' (I like the word 'blue') - but that reaction too is now a busted flush!

    As Bob Dylan once sang - "The times they are a changing" - and so it is now for NuLabour.

    Nice try for eleven years, but you have ruined the nation and it's people, destroyed the fabric of its society and bankrupt us with huge borrowing and debt we cannot afford (and few realise just how much).

    PLEASE GO before you do any more damage - especially Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 5.

    At last - we can start to see the end of this awful government. Two things are needed now:

    1. The media must expose the shocking waste of tax payers money across each government department since 1997 and expose the billions wasted on the reams of administrative and overseeing bodies and not injected directly into frontline services in schools, hospitals, armed forces and police.

    2. The Conservatives must now start to articulate over a period of time, the steps it intends to take.

    I'd like to see the media shine an intense spotlight on ministers, one department at a time and over a period of a few weeks and question the value for money that has been achieved. We should then sit back and listen to what the Conservatives think should be done in that area.

    After 6 months of this the public could surely force a general election by popular demand!

  • Comment number 6.

    It looks at this time, if the United Kingdom, had a General election...the Conservatives under the leadership of David Cameron would be the Next Prime Minister....

  • Comment number 7.

    As Hazel Blears said on Question Time 'The Electorate are sending us a powerful message and we will listen but this is just mid term blues.'
    And this after 11 years in power. Totally out of touch with the majority of the voting public!

  • Comment number 8.

    Morning all

    What a great result. Not 2000, not 5000 but an 8000 majority.

    I'm afraid the population aren't listening to C_E_H et al. They are just fed up with Labour, and quite rightly too.

    And of course Labour are in denial. Just look at Hazel Blears on Question Time.

    Can we now have an election so that we, the people of the UK can elect a PM?

  • Comment number 9.


    We are experiencing possibly the most bizarre period in contemporary British politics.

    A government with two years to remain in office have been consistently routed in elections since May 2007. This is also a government formed from an increasingly disintegrating party with a proven record of eleven years of incompetence and deception.
    Brown is probably the most ridiculed and disliked Prime Minister in modern politics.

    Despite the accurate and balanced interpretations of public opinion by the media, I predict we are not going to see any changes in government policies , just more offensive spin.

    This by-election is not just a confirmation of the demise of nu-labour, and all that it represents. With no change in the status quo resulting it also will end any public faith in the way we are governed in this now fake democracy.

    This is a very sad day for Britain, this useless government borrowed £2.7Billion, only last week, to try to save their jobs and salvage something from this by-election, another signal of their total corruption to cling to office and continue the incompetence.

    Only two million decent people on the streets peacefully demonstrating will bring change. When the ballot box and democracy fails us what else can we do to bring the changes we demand and deserve.

  • Comment number 10.

    The worm has turned! This is the final nail in the coffin of the New Labour project.
    Brown, New Labour and the Political Elite cannot survive. All the party donors who have done so well out of New Labour in return for favours are ebbing away. New Labour will see a rapid decline as power drains away.
    Times will change, but what's the political alternative.
    The Conservatives will have to start to harden up their policies (or even produce some). They are starting already with Cameron's signal on tax cuts and highlighting the debt. Now instead of being reactive to New Labour, often just a quote at the end of any report of another failed and disastrous New Labour policy, they will have to produce some sensible, real manifesto commitments.
    But that's only the politics.
    Other elements of the State (and there are many more than the political parties) will remind the Government that they are not the only kids on the block - not just the a Prime Minister and New Labour cronies and hangers on.
    The Police are already flexing their muscles. The Judiciary have for a while started to stand up to New Labour. The Armed Forces generals too have made their voices heard. The Media is turning - even the urban liberal politically correct BBC/ Guardian is showing disquiet.
    The Murdoch Empire - so far sitting on the fence - will be at the forefront of the media campaign. The Empire will strike back. After all they need to reflect the views of their bread and butter readers.
    Big Business, the ones who really hold the power- well, they'll continue to accelerate the move out of the UK - through the foreign investment banks and off-shore havens, where the disastrous UK debt spiralling out of control cannot reach them.
    Its time now to focus on key, bold, clear, simple to understand initiatives. Faced with stark choices, people will see sense as long as it is honest and not spun or seen to be spun. People from all walks of life need to be told in plain terms that the country is in a mess.
    We need to take big often controversial issues - they can be big or small (there's room for all) and make bold decisions. Explain in simple language the pros and cons and then act boldly in the best interests of the people of the United Kingdom and it citizens.

  • Comment number 11.

    Team Dave would do well to get it themselves.

    This was not a positive vote for a watered down version of New Lab.

    It was a tidal wave of English anger over tax, immigration, the EU, unfair Devolution issues, crime and New Lab's skill at punishing the deserving in favour of the undeserving.

    If these lessons are not learned, last night may yet turn out to be the Tories' high tide mark.

  • Comment number 12.

    There are just a small handfull of people on here that still cannot see what the rest of the country can.

    We do NOT want labour anymore. And yes, we have been looking, in detail, at the tory plans, and whilst they are not perfect, and some bits of their agenda suck, they are still far more preferable to labour's mean, poor-hating, dithering, incompetent cowardice and lies and their total sell-out to the corporate elite. The straw that broke the camel's back, as it were, was not actually the 10p tax con, but the broken promise on the EU referendum.

    So what could labour do to turn things round?

    The ONLY thing that would begin that process would be to perform a massive U turn and call a referendum on the EU treaty then come out fighting in support of it.

    But that's the problem for Labour. Labour? come out fighting? Don't make me laugh! Brown's labour party could not fight it's way out of a wet paper bag! They are much too scared to take on any issue that they have already promised themselves to the global elite their own total defference and fealty over.

    Brown is dedicated to the break-up of the UK and then the bits are to be handed over to the EU to own.

  • Comment number 13.

    Perhaps this result will bring an end to the ludicrous practice of trying to arrange for seats to be inherited by members of the former MP's family. Particularly if you're simultaneously trying to run a campaign based on class emnity.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think it is a little early to jump to conclusions about the result of the next general election. After all it doesn't need to happen for about two years.

    I remember mid term by-election results that were very bad for the government but they went on to win the general election comfortably. Fifty years ago by election results wer vey bad for the goverment after Suez but they went on to win big time in 1959. The same pattern was repeated during the Thatcher years.

    So lets wait and see what happens

  • Comment number 15.

    It seems to be a fact that once governments have been in power for long enough, they start to completely lose their grip on reality and the end is inevitable. It happened to the Tories under John Major (remember all the Sleaze?) and it's happening to Labour under GB. I think this result marks just another way-point on New Labour's inevitable slide into a massive electoral defeat.

    The really depressing thing is we'll just get another Tory government, who in their turn will screw everything up, and the whole cycle starts again.

    Why, oh why, can we not get a government that is actually fit to govern?

  • Comment number 16.

    I expect that the cabinet are now breathing a sigh of relief, thinking that that is over now. The trouble is, of course, that the electorate will be thinking the same thing in a week's time as now, but will have lost the medium to express it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Charles I think you mean Mao not Tao, for the sake of us all get some sleep and use a spellchecker.

    This government has been rumbled by the electorate. They have plucked the taxpayer for the last 11 years until they are bald. They can no longer raise tax by stealth so have now turned to tax raising under the guise of environmental taxation. We in the UK pay far more for our fuel than anyone else in Europe and twice as much as is Spain. More tax is piled on with the new heavily disguised road tax increase. We have had enough.

    The time has come for someone to sweep away the bureaucracy and Management Consultants that got rich on NuLabour contracts. We must get back to small government that delivers value for money and freedom of the individual. The controlling and oppressive nature of Gordon Brown and his friends is bearing down and suffocating the population of the United Kingdom.

    And doesn't Ms "grin and spin" Hazel Blears really annoy you with her "Auntie Hazel knows best" speach-lets and the way she flicks her head like a lizard? Every time she appears on TV the Tories must add 2% to their poll rating.

  • Comment number 18.

    Anyone hoping for an election.Do not Hold your breath turkeys don't vote for Christmas.Gordon will come out today fighting.He will listen He will move on with his long term plans.and he will lead from the top. Translated into I know you think Im wrong but I will carry on.

  • Comment number 19.

    So, Chuck, what's the sound of one party flapping?

    All fail, blessed leader.

  • Comment number 20.

    Very good result for the Tories. A shocker for Labour. I hope now that political pundits see this as an indicator that Prime Minister Cameron is a serious possibility they will be more robust in their analysis of his policies. Seldom in thirty+ years of following politics can I recall a prospective prime minister getting such an easy media ride - BBC included. I compare this to the treatment of Kinnock, Hague and Foot.

    Yes the Conservatives have been helped by government mistakes and lacklustre presentation but please political pundits do your job and make sure we as the electorate are secure about what potential Prime Minister Cameron and the Conservatives intend. Their pronouncements, voting patterns and policy announcements need to be given a higher degree of in depth analysis than is currently the case. If he wants to be Prime Minister he needs to be able to offer more than the politics of oppostion. Protest votes have their place but by the general election all of us have a right to be more secure on what a Cameron led government would stand for. A genuinely robust media would be pivotal in securing this. If the Crewe and Nantwich by-election sees the media looking in a serioius way at what a Conservative government would mean then we may be at the point of having a genunely interesting debate. My fear is the media fawning to Dave, BoJo and and the Conservative party will continue.

  • Comment number 21.

    The Government and Gordon Brown in particular have not understood that the real problem is the ever greater interference by the state in peoples lives.

    We are hardly free to do anything except get drunk in the pub, and I expect that will be controlled soon.

    Firstly people hate this and secondly they understand it costs a lot of money which we have not got

    The latest idea to record all phone calls and emails says it all

  • Comment number 22.

    And of course Labour are in denial.

    A lot of it is just people lashing out but Labour have pretty much fessed up to the state of affairs. One can rake over the past or wag fingers but I'm more interested in how things are dealt with. Mistakes have been made and this is a difficult situation but its nothing to get worked up about.

    I generally think a period of calm followed by a slow build up to the Prime Minister's conference keynote is filling the minds of strategists at the moment. If Labour backbenchers use this time to quietly count their achievements and generally stay in circulation it should take their minds off things.

    The Tories will try to continue bullying and pull the rug from under Labour but this grandstanding, and sniping from sockpuppets on the sidelines will only get a grip if they let it. Simply, being happy and projecting happiness is as good a plan as any. Happy minds create happy policies and, well, it's a little catching.

    Heck, the Dali Lama's written a book on it!
  • Comment number 23.

    Its too late for labour.

    People are not willing to go through all this every time the government gets it wrong.

    Brown and his cabinet have sqandered opportunity after opportunity to become something that works in the public interest, rather than being a thorn in our sides.

    This dog is badly behaved and has proved too stuborn to be trained - time to shoot it and get a new one

  • Comment number 24.

    Thank you Crewe for delivering a big message to an arrogant government.

    Sadly Gordon "£5 a gallon" Brown will not even notice the bloo under his own nose

    It just me or has Gordon Brown out greyed John Major he almost hypontises me into a deep sleep when he drones on and on.

    He is very dull so perhaps Brown is the new Grey??

    Thanks to the people of Crewe I will think of you when I fill my VW will £75 of diesel that used to take only £35 to fill 4 years ago.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nick Robinson uses the analogy of the Titanic, comparing a reshuffle to moving the deckchairs on the deck.

    Ditching the captain would be like throwing him overboard. Ever since Gordon Brown took over the wheel he has been directing it straight at one iceberg after another. Even if another captain changes course, it will still sink because the Labour ship is leaking badly at the rivets and is about to break up.

  • Comment number 26.

    C_E_H - there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    The country has had enough of NuLabour. They are fed up of the spin, the sophistic spending announcements, the "I know better than you" attitude.

    We want a change.

  • Comment number 27.

    Lots of good points.

    I for one feel the suffocation lifting everytime there is an election. The locals started it, Boris continued it and this morning I am starting to feel free.

    I do not want my every move to be governed, I do not want my calls and emails to to recorded, and I certainly do not want Brown, Blears, Smith et al to keep telling me it is for my own good.

    A previous poster said that while Brown will not call an election or resign 2million people on the streets will do the job. So why not? It doesn't have to be just London, it could be the streets of every major city (certainly in England) giving a vote of no confidence in this government.

    I am not normally active in politics, my normal quote about politicians is that they are "self serving professional liars," but the cirrent government really do rile me.

    They don't only want my money, they want my soul as well and they are not getting it.

    The Conservative may not be any better but they couldn't possibly be worse, and quite honestly a change would do us all good.

  • Comment number 28.

    #7. Hazel Blears was right. It is mid-term blues. If you expect to be in power for 22 years and we're in year 11, then it's simple mathematics. Half-way between 22 and zero is 11, therefore it's mid-term. I'm sure there's a whole bunch of people who have been contributing to recent blogs who will agree with me.

    One blogger said that he was in Crewe and met no-one who was gonig to vote Tory. He then mentioned that he had obsevered Labour posters everywhere. I am bound to say though, that taking a poll inside the Labour offices probably isn't representative of the whole electorate and a wider sample should normally be taken.

    At the end of the day, as the Chinese saying goes, "one hand doesn't make a clap". What the Tories have to do is to push their ideas for Government. This is what Brown and Blair did and is what is expected of Cameron and Osborne. I'm tending to think of the Blair/Brown era as I think of the partnership between Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee: the utlisation of skills that rely on part wizardry and part deception for their craft to work. It'll be an interesting next couple of years, I am sure.

  • Comment number 29.

    The Monster Raving Loony candidate got twice as many votes as the Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol candidate. So much for the Express's 'Crusade'!

    The real losers though, IMO, are the LibDems: at one time they would have been the natural recipients of an anti-goverment vote, but instead they've been left on the side.

  • Comment number 30.

    22 CEH:

    Well Charles there's no denying that there's a lot of happiness out there today. It really seems that your ideas are taking hold here. I for one are happy as are many others on this blog. Whoops ... perhaps not everyone is happy. I don't think dear old Gordon is happy. I think I might send him an email: Dear Gordon, be happy and maybe spread a little more happiness, How? resign! I think this will increase the general level of happiness even more, don't you?

  • Comment number 31.

    How fickle the electorate are- from Labour to Tory- like it was a better flavour crisps! Or have the two parties swapped sides so much that we can no longer tell who's for social responsibility and who's for number one?!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Why doesn't Brown and his peculiar gang get the message and call an election? The country is in a mess and he is blaming international factors that only a few years ago he said we were immune from, due to his diligent stewardship. The man is a moron and should be banished to his constituency.

    There is no support or credibility left. The people are speaking and will continue to do so. Can we now have a little more democracy to affect change?

  • Comment number 33.

    I think that people are over reacting to the importnace of this by-election and looking back through past ones, i came across this one -

    Now the circumstances were quite similar (i.e. government struggling etc) and labour made a 24% swing that day (much bigger than the Tories last night), yet it was the Tories who won the election 2 years later, which is when the next General election will be (and i can vote at last!). 2 years is a long time in politics

  • Comment number 34.

    I think #11 has it bang on- this wasn't yet a pro vote for the Tories (who definately appear to be developing a Tory third way). This was a vote in anger about a Govt that is increasingly perceived as out of control.

    The turning point here is that the anger is not just for people like Bill in 'middle england' but is blooming in working class inner cities. Labour's mistake here could be the attempt to be all things to all men because no-one now feels the Govt is on their side.

  • Comment number 35.

    If labour MP's don't beleive their party has anyone worthy of being PM (i.e. they don't like brown, and can see no replacement) then they have a duty to let the people of the UK chose for themselves.

    Brown cancelled the last election because he wanted time to show us what he has planned.

    Well he has had that time and shown us, can we have our general election now please?

  • Comment number 36.

    I forgot to add: Dear Gordon, Even now the thrilliband brothers are plotting your demise, but don't worry just be happy.

  • Comment number 37.

    The electorate have rejected these and more:

    o Nepotisim
    o Gordon brown - Unelectable
    o The over taxation of the middle class cash cow
    o Taxing the prudent and careful members of the elderly population
    o Ineptitude of the prime minister

    Return to the backroom Mr Brown!

  • Comment number 38.

    @ 20. I can remember a prospective Prime Minister getting an easy ride by the media, right up until and beyond the election. Tony Blair in 1997. He went to the country on the thinnest manifesto in history. If you remember the ONLY promises he made were on a small credit card sized bit of card. 5 promises and that's your lot. Everything else was merely an "aspiration" in other words meaningless. Cameron should not reveal his hand until the moment the General election is called. The nation will have plenty of time to analyse his manifesto and make a decision then.

  • Comment number 39.

    Well Charles there's no denying that there's a lot of happiness out there today.

    The bully Cameron is probably happy, and grinning like a fool as the crumbs of victory roll down his shirt but what he's creating is argument and division between people. Marketing relies on making people miserable so they rush out and buy the product. Consumption may bring a short term buzz but it never lasts.

    Look at what the Tories lead has done to people in here: selective with facts, taking sides, and arguments rolling on and on. This is the left/right, management/worker, rich/poor division Britain needs to shake off yet Cameron is seizing on it because he is weak and too impatient for victory. This is not moral or good for the country.
  • Comment number 40.

    Gifted Gordon is the Conservative Party's best asset! Remember why Operation Foxley was called off?


  • Comment number 41.

    It was great political drama last night: Nu Labour and Gordon Brown getting Crewe-cified on live TV.

    The best that can be said of Hazel Blears appearance on Question Time was that she wasn't any of the other Nu Labour toothless harpies. And, strangely enough, not one senior government figure was available to represent the Party on the By-Election Special other than Chris Bryant whose performance was - er - pants.

    Isn't Schadenfreude a wonderful thing.

  • Comment number 42.

    The signal New Labour would push the Conservative party into the wildnerness for the the last 11 years was Wirral South only 20 plus miles away from Crewe and Nantwich, this was only 3 months before the General . Will Gordon Brown be brave enough to ask the the public to support him in the same time frame .....doubt it so, bet he wished he had not didthered and called the election last November.

    Time is on Brown's side but are his troops going to put up with 2 years of "I'm the bestman for the job" he has to deliver, deliver, deliver.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't think Labour are mortally wounded yet, long term incumbent governments have been thrashed in by-elections before and still managed to pull it back, but unless Gordon Brown raises his game massively in the next few months you'd have to suspect that the clamour a new leader would be deafening.

    Brown has been a disaster so far, after so long hankering after the job, he finally gets it and flounders, he's a blindfolded man in a field full of rakes, stumbling from one smack in the face to the next. This is the man who convinced his party that Blair was an electoral liability, hard to credit at the moment.

    Tony Blair is presumably in bed with a virulent case of schadenfreude right about now.

  • Comment number 44.

    STOP PRESS : Update on C_E_H

    I am unreliably informed that C_E_H has been promoted to "Chief Bringer of Sunshine and Happiness to Gordon Brown."

    According to unnamed sources, GB called for C_E_H to report to his office at 8am this morning (earlier if possible). The request was made immediately after the Crewe and Nantwich result.

    When C_E_H asked what would happen to Hazel Blears without him he was told by one of GB's lackies that GB would bring in an almost undetectable stealth tax to pay for a high stool for her, so that she could use a normal computer and not rely on her laptop which needs a new Strategy card. Whether this will be a new Strategy card or just an upgrade of the now infamous "More of the Same" card is unknown.

    I believe that C_E_H on this news accepted and that a warmish glow is now in the Cabinet Room of 10 Downing Street. It however is very weak compared to the almost sun strength glow that is eminating from Conservative Central Office.

  • Comment number 45.

    What scares me now is the concessions Gordon will make to the Unions this summer given his own precarious position and the insolvency of the Labour party.

    There is still a lot of damage he can do in the next two years.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think the lesson New Labour need to learn from this election is that negative campaigning doens't work. When they went down the "Tory Toff" line, it was almost if they were telling the voters in Crewe, "We have no reason why you should vote for us". THIS is what lost them Scotland, if they had campaigned on their merits and not slagging of the SNP then maybe they would still be in power there.

  • Comment number 47.

    #38 - is that true? I can't remember the detail of that election campaign as I was out of the country at the time. Be interesting to hear what other people think - esp the bloggers on here who are happy to recall history as it really happened, and not necessarily through the prism of their own political persuasion! (and I do think there are a few of them, on both sides).

    It's all about the GE now, isn't it? Will the media give Cameron an easy ride - well, if the editors continue to think that Brown bashing is what the public want to hear (ie, it will sell papers) then probably yes would be my guess. My other concern is that the govt will go all out for (more) short term policies to try and claw back some good will from the public.

  • Comment number 48.

    The only downside here is that with two years before they have to call an election, IngSoc have two years to get their revenge in early. Two more years of damage to Britain and creeping authoritarianism.

  • Comment number 49.

    Charles E H. Its a bit rich for a NuLabRat to use the phrase 'selective with the facts' as an accusation of anyone else. A bit like Bill Clinton lecturing about fidelity.

    The individuals of this nation, poor and middle class alike are suffocating under the highest tax burden ever. This at a time when inflation is raging and most are suffering 5-6% real pay cuts p.a. No right minded person can lay the crude price, for example, at the feet of GB but Ed Balls summed up the government attitude to the electorate perfectly with his 'Who cares' blurt. We are considered NuLab cash cows to be milked to de-hydration and are then forced to watch that milk poured down the drain.

    Edward Timpson was absolutely correct in his assertion that GB 'doesn't get it'. Nor do any other members of this government as demonstrated by Hazel Blears on QT last night. Does Cameron get it? We shall have to wait and see but I suspect he could not possibly be more out of touch with the Joe Public.

  • Comment number 50.

    After listening to Labour Ministers and spokesmen this morning, I have concluded that the Sub-Prime Minister has decided to rewrite an old saying.

    Gordon's new law of practical politics "When you're in a hole, KEEP digging".

    Unfortunately for Snow Brown and his cabinet of dwarves, this fairy tale will not have a happy ending (for them at least).

    Long they manage to dig through to Australia, the sides of the hole will collapse, and bury Gordon Brown, his cabinet, and the Labour Party in an electoral landslide.

  • Comment number 51.

    At last the voters are giving New Labour the resounding message that it, and th eTories need to hear.

    This govt. has wasted huge sums of money on socially re-engineering the country. It hasn't worked. Look at any measure from school achievements to the latest figures showing that the money spent on policing and youth rehab hasn't improved re offending one jot!

    The message? simple a percentage of the people in the UK have no interest in work, social behaviour, involvement in communities etc. This percentage are quite happy for the tax payers to fund their lifestyle and contribute nothing.

    Concentrate on helping the rest of us to work together to combat fuel and food costs. Stop wasting money on the wasters.
    Help those who look after themselves, and build a cohesive community around them.

    Every child and every adult are not 'equal' so stop wasting time money and effort to make them so.#


  • Comment number 52.

    Charles E Hartwidge (#39)

    I'm no fan of Cameron but calling him a bully seems pretty childish. He seems a nice enough bloke (for a Tory) and definitely does not have a bullying style.

    And most of the things you accuse Cameron of are exactly what New Labour have been doing, especially in their disgraceful campaign at Crewe, which Harriet Harman tried desperately to deny contributed to their drubbing yesterday.

    My greatest hope is now for an early election, a hung Parliament and genuine electoral reform so we never get a large majority for any party on 36% of the vote from 25% of the electorate.

    I know people say coalitions lead to weak government but if this is strong government, give me a weak one any day. A coalition government would be much less likely to start an illegal war, lock up 80,000+ people, introduce 42 day detention and ID cards. They would have to listen to the people and not pander to the Daily Mail and Daily Express.


    It's now gone beyond the inability of Gordon Brown to lead! We need a more fundamental reappraisal of what the UK is for, which may even mean its partial or complete breakup.

  • Comment number 53.

    The point of having a leader is for them to lead. Gordon Brown's government may well have plans (Stalinist 'tractor plans' or others), and they have a Civil Service to look after the administration - but I don't see anything that looks remotely like leadership. Leadership includes atrributes like being visible, taking control of direction, and responding to circumstances.

    GB did not campaign in Crewe and has not said anything about it since. Having ministers bleat about 'listening', 'feeling pain' and 'economic circumstances' (largely self-inflicted) does not constitute taking control and responding.

    So GB totally fails the leadership test. The Labour party needs to consider its position here. Do they want to be 'tractor planned' into ignominious and lasting defeat, or do they plan to do something about it ?

  • Comment number 54.

    People are tired of this government intruding in and micromanaging every aspect of their life.

    The latest proposal to record all emails and phone calls gives some indication of what this government will be like if elected to for another term.

    What is important now to is to simply kick this government. I cannot get enthusiastic about a Conservative government but the current government just has to go.

    Give Labour another two terms in office and they will turn the country into another North Korea.

  • Comment number 55.

    Finally the British have woken up to the epic incompetance of this Government.
    They are sick of being taxed to oblivion, lied to, cheated and dictated to like some third world junta.

    Unfortunalty those involved still feel they can insult the British people. Chris Bryant, imediatly after last nights results insulted all thos people of Crew and Nantwich with his sanctamonious drivel that whatever the people vote, he and his party still think they are right and the voters wrong. Brown is the right man to get us our of a mess he says ! He forgets Browns waste and dismal policy got us here in the first place.

    An insult yet again to the people of Britain and in particular, to the people of Crew and Nanthwich.

    R Chamberlain

  • Comment number 56.

    DrTimClark #11 got it right when he said "Labour's mistake here could be the attempt to be all things to all men because no-one now feels the Govt is on their side." as this is the perennial problem with Socialism and it's absurd preoccupation with 'everybody is equal'. The only equality with Socialism is equality in misery since leveling down to the lowest common denominator always produces extreme anger and discontent rather than the docile subservient serfs that Nu-Labour would prefer.
    Well done Crewe and Nantwich you've shown the same resolve as those famed Socialist Tolpuddle martyrs in rejecting serfdom and sending a shock to the establishment.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    Reading Charles E comments reminds me what opposition is all about, and all Charles E can do is moan and personalise his attacks.

    You only have to deliver policies when you are in power, sadly Charles is missing this point.

  • Comment number 59.

    Do we really need to swap on bunch of conservatives for another? It is all really about economics. But I ask everyone has the UK's economic performance been so good? If it had been why is it always the economy that causes us to change one set of conservatives for another.

    The agenda is set by our permanent government - our civil servants. Mrs Thatcher, for all he huge failings understood this and purged the place when she arrived. Our civil servants run the place and like politicians need purging once in a while. They get increasingly out of touch with reality. Their front men (and women), the politicians, are sacrificed to keep them in power, but they, the civil servants must be changed too. Fire permanent secretaries! Or perhaps, we should ensure that once appointed to the senior ranks no postholder should stay in power for more than 5 years.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Nick, whom in the cabinet do you feel is vulnerable? My first thoughts are Alistair Darling but getting rid of your chancellor does look rather desperate.

  • Comment number 61.

    Ms Dunwoody believes the result was because the Tory voters turned out this time.
    She obviously has the correct mindset to be a Nu Labour politician.
    Ignore the facts, believe the spin.

  • Comment number 62.

    Re: 15 "Why, oh why, can we not get a government that is actually fit to govern?"

    Don't they say that you get the government that you deserve? The British people have been quite happy to sit back for the last ten years and let Tony and Gordon get on with it, and now we are reaping the results of our apathy.

    What else do they say? If you don't like what's going in politics, get involved and do something about it, 'cos it just doesn't do to sit on your hands when it comes to voting and then whinge about the government on blogs like these. (Nothing personal no. 15.)

  • Comment number 63.


    I've enjoyed your (fairly) balanced posts over the last couple of weeks.

    We all know which side of the fence you are on and I for one have respected your point of veiw as I genuine voice, with excellent points, but I think post #39 does you no credit what so ever. I know NL got hammered last night and I know the likes of dhwilkinson and Kiwilegs will be viciously lashing out very shortly but you?

    Come now can I put that down to getting out of bed on the wrong side?

  • Comment number 64.

    There is always talk of the government being given a bloody nose. This was a battering with baseball bats and leaving it for dead. You'd have thought, with ten years to prepare for the job, that Gordon Brown would have done a better job. He's been a miserable failure. The muggers in my metaphor would have nicked his credit cards too were it not for the fact that Brown has borrowed so much that any future Tory government is going to have to pay it all back. In 1997 the finances were just fine. Now the public knows what a mess Brown has made and wants to be rid of him. Experience is no good if you don't learn from it.

  • Comment number 65.

    Labour are dead in the water. Harriet Harman says it's "because 'people are feeling the pinch' and it's all down to rising prices.

    No, Harriet, it's about a lot more than that - it started with the Iraq war and the disillusionment has continued as a result of the kind of authoritarian policies you'd expect from a military junta, or in this case, a Labour party that has lost touch with its core principles and supporters.

    We've really been governed by a closet Tory party and now Labour have opened the way to the real thing taking over.
    At least we'll know where we stand - and hopefully in ten years time we might have a real Labour party to vote for again.

  • Comment number 66.

    Ok, so the opposition party has won a by-election in mid-term.
    This is not exactly new or news of any worth that couldn't have been cut and pasted from any decade since the Boer war.

    Now that Dave and Gideon have won a temporary 'protest vote', could they actually now tell us what their policies are that actuall won them that vote?

    A General Election (a return to the fold in Crewe and Nantwich) willl see a policy showdown, policy for policy and no chance whatsoever will Conservatives turn over the so-called swing seats.

    No chance whatsoever.

    Gideon can't do it because we are fed up with picking up the tab for politician's mistakes.

    Better the devil you know and it is 'impossible theory' that states Gordon and his party have everything to lose by not listening and acting.

    Gordon is neither deaf to the electorates concerns and he is certainly capable of acting upon those concerns.

  • Comment number 67.

    Charles E H. Its a bit rich for a NuLabRat to use the phrase 'selective with the facts' as an accusation of anyone else. A bit like Bill Clinton lecturing about fidelity.

    I'm normally fairly neutral and dish out the same advice to left and right, and top and bottom, that I swallow myself but the antics of the Tories and Liberals make that a bit tricky.

    The Labour party and Gordon Brown have made mistakes but the opposition parties are sowing a bit of bad karma themselves, and that isn't without its consequences.

    If anything, this arguing is getting out of hand so I might just trim back to a near pure Zen Buddhist position or quit posting until things have calmed down. Don't need the grief and life is short.
  • Comment number 68.

    skynine wrote:
    'And doesn't Ms "grin and spin" Hazel Blears really annoy you with her "Auntie Hazel knows best" speech-lets and the way she flicks her head like a lizard? Every time she appears on TV the Tories must add 2% to their poll rating.

    I so agree with this comment. I thought I was the only one who can't stand this woman!

  • Comment number 69.

    #57 - oh come on, you might be hurting today, but some of this stuff is just delusional. Think you might be better off just giving the dyed in the wool conservatives a day in the sun rather than giving it the conspiracy theory bit.

  • Comment number 70.

    An explosion of state spending in the last 8 years or so has utterly wasted billions of taxpayers money. The chickens are now coming home to roost. Harriet Harman says The Government will help hard pressed families to overcome their present plight but there is no money left in the kitty. I can't see how they are going fulfil their promises to reverse the situation. The scenario is very depressing for many people who put their faith in Nu Labour and have been badly burnt in the process.

  • Comment number 71.

    Well said K_Porter,

    There are so many negative posts about labour, it seems people have regretted voting Labour back in 1997. I remember that people were fed up with the Tories and blamed them for the interest rates, unemployment and social cohesion. I also remember that people were significantly more negative about the Tories at this stage of their government.

    I am not applauding this government but am I the only person to remember worrying about interest rates? How many people asking for Labour to go now, will be doing the same thing after 3 Tory terms?

    Don't vote out the govt in power when you have problems, vote in the one that you know will fix them!

  • Comment number 72.

    So the Crewe and Nactwich voters didn't like Dunwoody mk II.
    Would this mean a massive majority for Cameron's Tories in two years? We'll have to wait and see.

    The persistent problem that I see at PMQs is Cameron sniping at Brown, but nothing of any substance from the Tories. Those of us who remember the long dark 17 years of Thatcher and Major know exactly what will happen if the Tories come back in.
    On the other hand, if Cameron is reinventing them by stealing Labour's cloths, which seems to be the case, what's to choose between Tory and Labour now? Will we end up with the same ideas but a different cabinet and PM?
    Brown on the other hand comes across a a very dull man, but I don't think that's bad, just he needs to learn to let his cabinet speak a bit more - let them do their jobs!

  • Comment number 73.

    #66 - and GaryElsby, who on earth is going to take any you say seriously after your ridiculous electioneering on here over the past few days?

  • Comment number 74.

    GaryElsby wrote:
    Ok, so the opposition party has won a by-election in mid-term.
    This is not exactly new or news of any worth that couldn't have been cut and pasted from any decade since the Boer war.
    Now that Dave and Gideon have won a temporary 'protest vote', could they actually now tell us what their policies are that actuall won them that vote?

    Head in the sand stuff from a Labour party activist who canvassed in Crewe and Nantwich. We will see in 2 years time whether you are right. The persuasion tactics used by your Party in the lead up to The By Election backfired horribly and don't support your view!

  • Comment number 75.

    Michael Howard, ex-Tory leader said a while back that the only way the Tories would get back into power was if the economy turned sour.

    A very honest statement and it now appears to be coming true.

    I believe it will end up thus in the 2010 General Election:

    England - Tory win.
    Scotland - SNP win.
    Wales - Plaid win.

    Looking forward from that event, obviously the Scots will depart the Union with the Welsh in hot pursuit.

    So, tiny English political entities, such as the English Democrat party, which we dimly just about perceived last night in Crewe and Nantwich, should expect to grow a lot bigger post-2010.

    Plus we should also see some new English political entities, I am hoping that the English will elect more genuinely independent people.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    @dhwilkinson. This is weakest, most appallingly lame argument I've heard since Paris Hilton starting discussing particle physics with Stephen Hawking.

    You are of course entitled to your opinion on this government and GB but I suggest you enage your brain and make it an informed one. Alternatively, stick with your 1970s Trade Union view that red is always best. Then we can start the 3 day week and pile up the corpses in the street. Outside your house, if you don't mind. Your choice.

    I speak as someone who has voted both ways over the years but can understand when my country is being raped and pillaged as a political uberclass tries ever more desperately to cling to power. I do not like it.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Is this government holed below the water mark? Prediction is a tricky business, but it is diffficult to see a future for Labour in government. They have failed several competence tests and the legislative programme seems to lack inspiration.
    Not only is SS Labour holed, she seems to be rudderless.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    Finally people are waking up.

    New Labour have massively increased the tax burden faced by the UK. Had that huge increase in tax been matched with a clearly visible improvement in public services I would be entirely willing to stop voting Tory and vote Labour for more of the same.

    But looking at the reality, as opposed to massaged statistics, tells a very different story.

    Crime is apparently falling, while we see teenagers being knifed on our streets almost every week.

    Education is apparently improving, but universities and employers are bemoaning the fact that candidates lack basic skills.

    Inflation is officially only 2-3%, but the prices we actually pay for the things we need are rising by anything up to 10-15% (or more still, if petrol and diesel are considered).

    The NHS is seeing record levels of investment, but at the same time hospital-acquired infections are constantly rising. Few people can find an NHS dentist.

    Waiting lists are down, but people experience queues to get onto the waiting list in the first place and doctors complain of being expected to treat people to hit political targets rather than meet clinical need.

    Council taxes are rising constantly, apparently to pay for an ever-increasing army of jobsworths who either do nothing of value (5-a-day coordinators etc) or pry into our daily lives and harass us (e.g. the ongoing fiasco over rubbish collections). It is truly offensive to expect me to pay someone through my taxes when their only function is to fine me for trivial misdemeanors such as putting a little bit too much rubbish out.

    Fuel costs are constantly rising to encourage the use of public transport, but outside of major cities public transport is all but non-existent, and even within major cities it is slow, dirty and extremely unpleasant to use (try standing for half an hour in a jam-packed commuter train on a Friday afternoon in June with no air conditioning).

    I can honestly say I can't see any way whatsoever that Labour have improved anything at all.

  • Comment number 82.

    Can anybody else tolerate anymore of Alistair Darling, Jacqui Smith, Harriet Harman and Hazel Blears reeling off their tired script of 'it is the right thing to do', 'I don’t accept that', 'Gordon Brown is the right man for the job' nonsensical stock lines of defense for what is a truly incompetent government and PM...?

    Do they not realize what everyone else knows? Are they not aware by blindly sticking to this hymn sheet that they are losing the last bit of credibility and integrity they may have left? Is it me?

  • Comment number 83.


    Here's what you said a couple of days ago:

    "I spent yesterday in Crewe and Nantwich canvassing for Labour. I spotted a lonely Conservative Poster . . . Everywhere around the Constituency, Labour posters are proudly on display with only a scattering of Lib Dem posters. . . . I spoke to everyone I saw and all but one couple were voting Labour.

    The odd couple were very concerned about the 10p tax fiasco and had not made their mind up yet.

    My view of what I have seen personally is . . . that the class war campaign has been a runaway success."

    Now apparently Labour didn't win in Crewe! You say that its just a temporary protest vote, and Crewe will return to the fold.

    You were so sure that Labour would win, and you were wrong. What makes you so sure it was just a protest vote now?

    Incidentally, you did say one thing that makes sense (I know, I'm not supposed to agree with you). You said "we are fed up with picking up the tab for politicians' mistakes". Too true. Only I know you don't mean THIS government's mistakes, do you.?

  • Comment number 84.

    dhwilkinson @57 and elsewhere on this blog reacted to the Crewe and Nantwich result by declaring: "THis democracy is a joke!"

    Typical leftie: loves democracy only when the people vote as instructed. He must be related to Vivienne Westwood who famously said: "Boris as mayor? Unthinkable. It just exposes democracy as a sham, especially if people don't vote for Ken - he's the best thing in politics. Unthinkable."

    Meanwhile Chuck E Hogwash @67 threatens to throw his toys out of the pram. Don't go Chuck! What will we do for a chuckle? How will be enlightened without any of your Sodu-ku says pearls of wisdom?

  • Comment number 85.


    you complain about sniping from Cameron at PMQs, and hearing nothing of substance form him.

    Could I remind you that it is PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS. Gordon is supposed to answer questions, he never does (other than to blather on about ancient history, long term decisions, right man for the job etc). If Gordon won't answer questions in the Parliamentary slot put aside for him to do so, why should Cameron?

    Incidentally, this week Gordon was asked whether the 2.7 billion would continue next year. He refused to say. He was asked if he agreed with figures showing that if it didn't, some 18 million people would be hit in the pocket. He refused to answer. Incidentally, his chancellor had already answered the first one the previous night, so we all knew the answer already and he STILL wouldn't answer it!

  • Comment number 86.

    Lots of comments about this is bye election and voters will return to the Labour fold for a General Election. Not where I come from!!!

    The general tone is

    1 We've given them plenty of time and money and they've wasted both.

    2 If he was going to do a U-turn why didn't Brown just say the 10% tax wasn't properly thought through and he will reinstate it until we have got the change right and NO-ONE loses.

    3 Labour have run out of ideas.

    4 They want to control every aspect of our lives.

    5 We agree that the poor and children need help but what about us. You can't spend all of our money on such a narrow grouping.

    6 Brown is just pure dull. He wanted the job, back-stabbed to get it and he can't do it. He should go.

    These are not my words, although I agree with them, they are from people I have spoken to.

    As for support for Labour, anything is just lukewarm

  • Comment number 87.

    On Question Time last night the very existence of The Labour Party was put into question by one of the panelists. It was originally set up as an arm of The Trade Unions to represent the interests of their member workers. Now that The Unions are no longer the force they were and Gordon Brown seems to be stealing the clothes of the other major parties in addition to adversely affecting the plight of the poorer citizens in this country what exactly is their role?

  • Comment number 88.

    Brown is treading in Blair`s privatise,privatise,privatise footsteps, it is time to clear out the New Labour puppets and get back to Labour policies.

  • Comment number 89.

    #29 I agree that this is a poor night for the LibDems. Compare Simon Hughes' eloquent arguing on Question Time and his clear policy proposals with Blears' rattling out of the prepared party line. But so what if this doesn't translate into votes, and by that I mean real electoral support and not single issue (Iraq) protest votes. Why don't they play up their Social Democratic roots? And their liberal anti-authoritarianism?

    #52 I also hope we have a hung parliament leading to PR. Our adversarial system, it can be argued, is weaker than the more consensual approach of Nordic/Germanic countries where coalitions/grand coalitions are the norm. In our system, a government can come in and completely undo everything the last government did (hence endless 'reform' and 'relaunches' of the NHS and schools). More realistically, parties have to scrap over the few percent of voters that decide which party with 35% of the vote rules. Parties thus converge on a false centre ground and become largely indistinguishable which diminishes voter choice. Coalition governments CAN be strong as their policies at least have majority support and are argued over between coalition partners, rather than being rubber stamped by compliant MPs looking for a ministerial position. A complaint of PR is that it is hard to kick people out if they can simply join the next coalition, but at our last election, 65% of people tried to kick out Labour to no avail! Of course both ways of doing things have pros and cons, but at least with PR voter preferences are actually translated into electoral representation.

    Judging from last night Cameron would still win outright in either case!

  • Comment number 90.

    STOP STOP PRESS : C_E_H Resigns

    After only less than 3 hours in the post, C_E_H has I am informed by an un-named source has resigned his post as "Chief of Sunshine and Happiness to Gordon Brown."

    The source told me that at his first meeting his light and happiness quickly dissipated when he discovered that GB was discussing what spin he can put out to keep his position. "ANYTHING will do" he told his flunkys- "ANYTHING. I waited 10 years for this job and the fact that I am unfit for purpose will not stop me staying here."

    C_E_H, I understand was so distraught at finding that the Labour government is only smoke and mirrors and no substance that he ran out of the office to meditate in a quiet darkened room."

    More soon.

    PS Hazel Blears' laptop has been fitted with an updated "More of the Same " card since the New Strategy card is still on the drawing board and won't be ready for quite a period. It is being developed with the same crew that is working on the NHS system that is four years behind schedule and vastly over budget.

    Sound familiar!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    The people have spoken and the Prime Minister isn't listening.

    What this vote tells everyone is that this government and its very over rated Prime Minster have not only run out of steam but they have hit the buffers.

    It is time that Gordon understands this and does the honourable thing and call a general election then we can get people into Government who are sincere about the work and can get on with it.

    Might also be a good time for Gobbals Mick to be put to pasture.

  • Comment number 92.

    Hopefully, it will mean the beginning of the end of this appalling, incompetent and devisive apology for a government. It is going to be an uphill task for any new administration to rebuild the nation after this I am afraid.

  • Comment number 93.

    Those seeking an understanding of the current political situation would do well to read "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen. Although it mainly relates to the US, it describes how you need to engage the emotions to win. Blair was a master, Brown is failing at it. People don't like him. More at

  • Comment number 94.

    #39, Charles I sometimes wonder if you are for real.

    Labour, the party that has brought in great swathes of legislation to stop discrimination on grounds of culture, race, age, sex, sexual orientation etc. runs an election campaign which discriminates on grounds of the wealth of one's parents (regardless of their philanthropy). Surely that is a divisive tactic, and at the very least not exactly PC in this great age of blessed PC-ness.

    And on mispresenting the facts, do you seriously think Gordon Brown is being truthful when he tells us that debt/gbp is 37%? What about PFI? What about public sector pensions? What about Northern Rock? What about Network Rail? What about the great £2.7Bn borrowed tax giveaway? My estimate is that debt/gbp is more like 47% than 37%.

    What about moving from RPI to CPI, which has no housing costs, no council tax and no bread in the index although it does have dvd players (that common staple of the great british diet).

    What about the EU referendum manifesto promise?

    The list of lies goes on an on.

    Even if your assertions on the Tories were true, which I do not believe, New Labour have been guilty of those charges to an even greater degree.

  • Comment number 95.

    "Labour's class war campaign tactics backfired in Crewe and Nantwich."

    What genius at Labour HQ decided to portray them as the party of the "working classes" when they'd just abolished the 10p tax rate?

    The mind boggles at their sheer political naivety.

  • Comment number 96.

    "#57(me) - oh come on, you might be hurting today, but some of this stuff is just delusional. Think you might be better off just giving the dyed in the wool conservatives a day in the sun rather than giving it the conspiracy theory bit."

    Sorry? what conspiracy theory? The Conservatives do think they own law and order. And they do think that they are the only party that cares about families. and the police thing I meant the Police federation speech. although still probably overstating it a bit,Not vote rigging or anything else. Sorry, I meant the day before yesterday. I type this stuff very quickly and forget to check it. Sorry.

    @76 is a bit of a conspiracy theory though. But I think there is some truth in it.

  • Comment number 97.

    About time that David Cameron was challenged don't you think? I David Cameron wants to be prime Minister then perhaps he should talk about David Cameron instead of talking about The Prime Minister all of the time.

    A film critic knows criticise but hasn't a clue how to make a film. David Cameron can criticise mostly in an outrageously hypocritical way like accusing the Prime Minister of to much PR and Presentation. But that doesn't mean he can be a good prime minister.

    Speaking of hypocrisy. I would like to congratulate David Cameron for his Nasty personality assassination campaign. I personally think David Cameron shouting abuse in PMQs is a sign of his weakness. You see it in the natural world. Small weak animals compensate by using aggression as a form of defence.

    The Conservatives had a lot of help from their friends in the police force at the police federation conferenc. Is anyone else fed up with the fact that the Conservatives think they own 'Law and Order'. and think they are the only party that likes families.

    Overall, a victory for the party of hot air.

  • Comment number 98.

    I regret that Gordon Brown is just not up to the job. All those years of plotting and waiting and when it comes down to it, he is just not adept enough to lead his party or this country.

  • Comment number 99.

    Nick is it not simply going to be that Labour are not electable therefore the Tories have to win under our electoral system - which I would change in a jiffy.

    So the Tories have to win and in my world if Cameron does not fall into the trap of considering himself a demi-god leader held back by his short-sighted people, as Blair did, then he will probably get two terms.

    But the real issue, which NOBODY is really taking seriously in my only slightly hysterical view, is that the political landscape will be permanently changed after 2010 and the Scottish Independence Referendum. First Thatcher and then Blair have decimated Labour and the Tories outside England. The Lib Dems will pick up votes but as I see it we are approaching a situation where the Nationalist parties cannot lose.

    So even approaching 2010 with lame duck Scottish members of cabinet if they do "a Crewe" and try to buy off electorates - at the probable expense of interested onlookers the English - and still lose then there will be no UK and Labour will have alienated the English.

    It won't be just Labour that get the blame when the analysis is done but ....

    So you could say that Crewe is likely to be a significant event in the break up of the UK as it shows Brown to be a lame duck. The wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I see no contingency planning by the government (IT; security policy; nuclear weapons locations; energy policy; EU contributions; the "special relationship") for that break up and therefore this may make T5 seem like a management paradigm of how to effect change.

  • Comment number 100.

    .88 - "Brown is treading in Blair`s privatise,privatise,privatise footsteps, it is time to clear out the New Labour puppets and get back to Labour policies."

    I don't think that's what a lot of Middle Englanders voted for back in '97 though, is it? I'm sure the Tory turned New Labour voters would shriek if they thought their votes in '97, '01 and '05 would end up as left wing as the original Labour.


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